Stalker behind woman

Criminal Order: What is it?

A criminal order is a legally binding order that protects a person from potential harm.

The most common type of criminal order is a restraining order, but there are other types available. Below introduces the three most widely used types of criminal orders.  Sometimes the person who receives the criminal order has never been arrested and spent time in jail (or been out on bail), but sometimes they have.

Restraining Orders

Judges issue restraining orders in order to prohibit abusive spouses or intimate partners from harming or harassing the other person in the relationship. Restraining orders are also issued to prevent stalkers or violent criminals from hurting their target victims. Restraining orders are usually issued when a potential victim files an application through the local courthouse. The restraining order will prohibit specific acts, such as phoning or physically approaching the victim. Restraining orders usually designate a distance that must be kept between both parties, such as 50 or 100 feet, so the aggressor will be unable to have contact with the victim.

When it comes to victims of crimes or domestic violence, the application processed is accelerated. After serious crimes, such as assault or stalking, the victim may automatically be granted a restraining order. However, the normal process of filing a restraining order may require the victim to present their case before a judge. The would-be assailant will then receive written, legal notice of the order and have the opportunity to object and present their side of the story in court. When in court, applicants must be able to convince the judge that they are in danger of imminent or chronic harm.

Order of Protection

An order of protection goes on step beyond the standard protections of a restraining order. This is because it also provides protection for the children of the victim and shared assets such as money, vehicles and property. For example, if the victim and defendant live together, the defendant may be forced to leave the home. Protective orders come with severer restrictions and punishments for violations, so they are reserved for documented victims in abuse cases. They are also used when one partner is chronically unstable and inappropriate, so they may still allow the adult to visit their children, but there will be a visitation and transportation schedule.

Restraining orders are usually served to the defendant by law enforcement, but getting the police to enforce the order may be difficult. When it comes to order of protections, law enforcement takes the order violations much more seriously. Most states require the victim to file an initial petition at the local courthouse, which may last for two to three weeks. During this time, the victim will usually work with their lawyer to file a long-lasting protection order that may last for up to two years. There will be a court hearing where both sides will present their case and associated evidence. Protective orders are very useful in helping domestic violence survivors move on and re-establish their lives. Note that violations of order of protections may be incorporated into bail bonds documentation.

No Contact Order

A no contact order is a unique type of restraining order that the court issues in certain circumstances. For example, it is usually issued before defendants go to trial, but family court judges often issue it in domestic violence situations. Perpetrators of domestic violence gain power over their victims through abuse and manipulation. Become some victims become codependent on their abusers, many judges issue no contact orders to protect victims from themselves.

In today’s modern world, technology has revolutionized how we communicate, but it also empowers aggressors to easily harass victims. No contact orders prohibit defendant from initiating both direct contact, such as through texting or emailing, but also indirect contact with the victim. Keep in mind that a manipulative abuser may use their children, friends or family to convey messages. No contact orders now prohibit communication through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, criminal orders are important legal tools that courts and law enforcement use to keep potential victims safe and potential aggressors at bay.

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